A mechanical life

“For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches — and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood.”
Rolan Barthes. Camera Lucida

We live surrounded by things that make sound. Some of these sounds belong to sophisti-cated mechanisms which we ourselves set in motion. The soundtrack of our life is connected to time and place. I can imagine very well the sounds of a cycling road in Beijing, or the sound of the lift in the old grandma’s house. Some sounds have a magic power in them. For instance, Roland Barthes wrote that for him the organ of photography is not the eye, but the finger, associated with the click of the lens, with the metallic sliding of the plates. For the project The West. The time machine I offer four mechanisms, four machines, which personify their time and place in history and which, not quietly, did their job.

Ekaterina Rozhkova